When Third Party Liability Applies in Vehicle Accident Claims

If you are in an accident in New York where the other driver was at fault, is it possible that someone else may also be held responsible for damages?  Sometimes, the answer is yes.

For example, if the driver of the other vehicle borrowed the car from its original owner and the owner knew the driver had a history of negligent driving but allowed him or her to borrow the car anyway, the owner could potentially be held liable.

In addition, if there were other passengers in the car that caused a distraction or even grabbed the wheel and this caused your accident, that person or persons may be found liable as a third party.

There may also be circumstances when you were at fault because bushes or trees on someone else’ property obscured a stop sign or your line of vision.  In this case, third party liability may potentially attach to the property owner.

Another example of third party liability is when an accident occurs because your vehicle or the other person’s vehicle was defective.  If you or the other driver were unaware of the defect and drove an unsafe car, the manufacturer could be found liable as a third party.

If you are involved in a drunk driving accident, the person who consumed the alcohol is generally considered to be liable for the accident.  However, if they were “over-served” at a bar, restaurant or private party, the establishment or person furnishing the alcohol could potentially be held responsible as well.

The bottom line on third party liability is that sometimes the negligent actions of other people can contribute to the cause of an accident.  Your best course of action is to have a New York personal injury attorney familiar with state law when it comes to third party liability review of your potential claim.

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